by Stephanie Cave MD, FAAFP
Dr Cave is pro-vaccine, however she believes that vaccines are not without dangers. In this book, she discusses the realities of the diseases for which we vaccinate, as well as the medical information available about each vaccine. She does not say that something is proven if it is not (for example, the link between autism and vaccination), however, she discusses the facts behind the hypothesis (for example, that many vaccines used to contain mercury--some still do--and that the symptoms of mercury poisoning are almost identical to the symptoms of autism).
She also discusses the difference between natural immunity (that acquired by actually getting the disease) and vaccinated immunity, which is imperfect. Natural immunity is usually lifelong, whereas vaccinated immunity usually is not, and may last for as little as 7 years, or as long as 30+ years, depending on the vaccine. Dr Cave explains the difference between a 'live vaccine' (which is one with the live virus in it) and an 'inactivated vaccine' (where the virus has been killed prior to injection). Live vaccines may actually cause the disease they are meant to avoid--since they contain live virus. These cases are usually mild though, and may result in natural immunity, which is a good thing. On the other hand, while inactivated vaccines are considered safer, and will not cause the disease, they also have a lower rate of efficacy, and still have the risk for other side effects.
I found this book VERY informative, and would recommend that any parent who genuinely cares about their child's health should read this before making decisions about vaccinating (either for OR against).
Here are a couple of quotes from the book which I found particularly interesting:
"[A]n infant's immune system cannot adequately respond to a vaccine until he or she is four to six months old."(She later explains that this is because the body does not produce bile until that age, and is therefor unable to flush out toxins such as aluminum and mercury which are in the vaccines.)
"Since the late 1950s, when mandatory mass vaccinations started in the United States, there has been an increase in the incidence of immune system and neurological disorders, including Attention Deficit Disorder, asthma, autism, childhood diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, learning disabilities, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic health problems."(While not proven, many people feel that this is happening for one of the following reasons: 1--not catching these diseases is leaving the body without toxins to attack, and so it begins to attack itself. 2--ingredients in the vaccines are chemically similar to things in the body, and when the immune system begins to fight the vaccine it confuses the similar cells and also attacks healthy body parts [eg: arthritic symptoms]. 3--the disorders are responses to ingredients in the vaccines which are poison [eg: autism])
Howard Urnovitz, PhD, microbiologist, and founder of Chronic Illness Research Foundation, Berkley "there's no scientific evidence to prove that vaccines cause chronic diseases, but they [the government] won't fund any research in that area either. If you don't look for something, you won't find it."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~Dr Cave, as I mentioned, is in favor of vaccination. However, she has some recommendations for doing it safely:
- Do not get ANY vaccination if you are even slightly ill, or have been so in the last two weeks. (The AAP says to avoid vaccination if you are moderately or severely ill, but that it's ok when mildly ill, such as just a cold.)
- Know your own medical history, as well as your family's medical history. Avoid vaccines that you or a family member has had an adverse reaction to.
- Know your allergies--avoid vaccines that have ingredients which you or a family member are allergic to (since food and medicine allergies often run in families).
- Learn about each vaccination--read the package insert ahead of time, know the ingredients, know the risks and benefits, and know the proper way to administer it (under the skin or into the muscle) and be sure that your doctor gives it correctly.
- Do not give multiple vaccinations at once (she feels that it is ok to give HiB and IPV together, but no others. She also recommends getting M, M, and R separately, rather than together, but is ok with the DTaP combo.)
- Use single dose vials of vaccination serum, OR, if they are not available, have your care provider shake the vial prior to withdrawing your serum (to make sure that all ingredients are evenly mixed).
- Insist on having mercury free vaccines. Every vax has a form that is mercury free, but not all doctors use them.
- Give the vaccine recipient extra vitamin C and vitamin A for several days prior to the vaccination. (This helps the body cope with the toxic ingredients, and reduces the risks of adverse reactions.)
- Do not get a vaccination for anything while pregnant.
- Breastfeed for at least six months.
- I have one recommendation of my own to add to the list, and it is similar to her recommendation of giving extra vitamins prior to vaccination--this advice came from my mother's naturopath, and that is to give the recipient echniacea (immune system booster) for several days before AND after the injection. Bolstering up the immune system in this manner helps the body respond positively to the vaccination--by making antibodies--rather than negatively.